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Teru TalkJune 2014 News and Matters of Interest

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Pacific Ag Seeks Additional Cellulosic Residual for Abengoa Ethanol Plant

Pacific AgThe Hugoton, Kansas, operation of Oregon based Pacific Ag, LLC is looking for more wheat straw, which along with other ingredients, can be used to produce cellulosic ethanol, a biofuel produced from wood, grasses, or the inedible parts of plants. Doug Werner, harvest manager at Pacific Ag: "The wheat isn't very good this year, so we're trying to find more wheat that we can swath and bail. We are contracted by Abengoa, the company that is building the ethanol plant at Hugoton, and we go out and talk to the farmers, and then we go out and swath or shred the cornstalks or wheat stubble and then bail it and then haul it in to be used at that ethanol plant. This plant is using the wheat straw, corn stalks and milo stalks." While Abengoa hasn't yet begun operations, it is expected to soon, and, in the meantime, Werner said Pacific Ag hopes to contract more farmers for wheat straw. According to a press release from Pacific Ag, the company provides residue management programs not only to harvest the residue for ethanol production, but also to promote long-term crop performance for area farmers. 06/30/2014

E.ON’s Blackburn Meadows Biomass Plant Starts Generating Electricity

E.ONE.ON UK has announced that its Blackburn Meadows biomass facility in Sheffield has generated electricity and synchronized with the local distribution network for the first time. Blackburn Meadows is now E.ON's third biomass plant and can provide enough energy to power around 40,000 homes. The 30MW renewable energy plant will convert locally sourced recycled waste wood into electricity, helping to reduce the impact energy generation has on the environment. The plant will displace the emissions of around 80,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. Work began on Blackburn Meadows in 2011 and since then, around 3,400 people have been involved in the construction process, including local contractors, helping to bring new jobs and investment to the area. Blackburn Meadows will also supply hot water to a new £20 million low-carbon district heating network, which is due to be completed in early 2015, and will supply heat directly to homes and businesses in the area. 06/30/2014

BioAmber Secures CAD $20MM Loan for Sarnia Plant Construction

BioAmberMinnesota-based BioAmber, Inc has announced that its Canadian subsidiary BioAmber Sarnia Inc has secured a CAD$20 million commercial loan for construction of the planned Sarnia manufacturing plant in Ontario, Canada. The plant will convert Canadian agricultural products (long term goal: agricultural residuals and forestry wastes) into about 30,000 metric tonnes of bio-based succinic acid, a value added building block chemical in wide use. BioAmber Sarnia Inc is a joint venture (JV) with Mitsui & Co and this will be the first facility to be constructed under the JV agreement. The loan was financed through a consortium led by Export Development Canada and including Farm Credit Canada and Comerica Bank. The loan’s principal will be repaid over a period of 6.5 years, beginning three months after the completion of commissioning and start-up of the plant that is set for early 2015. 06/30/2014  

ESA Releases Draft Fire Guidance for Waste Storage and Processing

Environmental Services AssociationThe increase in the United Kingdom (UK) in storage and processing of biomass and refuse derived feedstock has been accompanied by a dramatic rise in the number and severity of fires at waste storage and processing facilities. The Environmental Services Association (ESA) has responded by entering into a highly collaborative cross-industry/agency assessment, and has released a draft Fire Control Guidance document and opening a formal consultation. Although developed to curb UK fire incidence, the draft guidance provides a basis for global Best Management Practices for all involved in waste / biomass collection, storage, processing, and utilization. ESA's Fire Control Guidance Consultation Draft program page provides further detail, including directions for comment submission and access to download of the full Guidance document. Comments to the draft document are due by July 25, 2014. 06/27/2014 

Celtic Renewables to Start Next Stage Testing of Whisky Waste to Biofuel

Celtic RenewablesEdinburgh based Celtic Renewables has announced signing an agreement with the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant (BBEPP) in Ghent to undergo next stage testing of its process to turn whisky by-products into biofuel. The partnership has been made possible by second round funding worth €1.5million, including more than €1million from the UK Government, to help meet its ambition of growing a new €125 million-a-year industry in the UK. The new agreement will allow the company to develop its technology at the BBEPP. Celtic Renewables has already proved the concept of producing biobutanol from draff, the sugar-rich kernels of barley which are soaked in water to facilitate the fermentation process necessary for whisky production, and pot ale, the yeasty liquid that is heated during distillation. The company will spend the next few months seeking to replicate work done in its Scottish laboratory at an industrial scale. 06/26/2014

Increased Food Waste Results from Confusing Date Labeling

Institute of Food TechnologestsThe Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) has announced a new scientific review paper entitled "Applications and Perceptions of Date Labeling of Food." in the July 2014 issue of Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. Conversion of discarded pre-consumer food into energy, fuels, and other commodities should be preceded by recovery and redistribution of as much of the food materials as are still wholesome and safe. Understanding the factors that contribute to disposal of perfectly edible food is a complex and global challenge. The scientific report details how "date labeling" food is resulting in global waste of safely edible food. In an effort to better understand the impact of date labeling on the entire food supply chain, IFT partnered in a broad collaborative assessment to support assessment of the problem. From the report's abstract, "A “use by” or similar date cannot be relied on to indicate or guarantee food safety because absolute temperature control of food products throughout the food supply chain cannot be assured." The abstract and the full scientific paper are available for download at no cost from the Wiley Online Library. 06/26/2014

US DOE Awards $100 Million for Innovative Energy Frontier Research Centers

US Department of EnergyThe US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced a second round of funding totaling $100 million for support of the Energy Frontier Research Center program. Thirty-two projects were selected to receive funding from over 200 proposals. Ten awards were for establishment of new Centers, with the majority of funding dedicated to on-going efforts. Of these, four awards will support advanced aspects of waste and biomass conversion: (1) Purdue University’s Center for Direct Catalytic Conversion of Biomass to Biofuels (C3Bio) under Maureen McCann will use chemical catalysis and fast pyrolysis to transform the main components of non-food lignocellulosic biomass directly to liquid hydrocarbons and other high-value chemicals. (2) The University of Delaware’s Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation (CCEI) under principal investigator Dionisios Vlachos will strive to understand catalytic processes that will enable the viable, economic operation of biorefineries with lignocellulosic biomass feedstocks converted to a range of fuels and chemicals. (3) The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Solid-State Solar-Thermal Energy Conversion Center (S3TEC) led by Gang Chin will design materials for efficient direct heat-to electricity energy conversion technologies. (4) The Pennsylvania State University Center for Lignocellulose Structure and Formation (CLSF) under the direction of Daniel Cosgrove will develop a detailed nano- to meso-scale understanding of plant cell wall structure and its mechanism of assembly to provide a basis for improved methods of converting biomass into fuels. Awards range from $2 million to $4 million per year per center for up to four fiscal years, subject to a progress review in year two. The DOE plans to open the EFRC program to new applications every two years. 06/26/2014 

Supermarket Runs on Power Generated Solely from Its Own Food Waste

SainsburyUnited Kingdom (UK) based industry partners Biffa and Sainsbury’s have announced that they are celebrating an innovative facility that will allow Sainsbury’s Cannock store to run on power generated solely from the supermarket’s own food waste. Food waste that is unsuitable for charitable donations or animal feed is collected from Sainsbury’s supermarkets around the UK using Sainsbury’s delivery lorries, and delivered to Biffa’s anaerobic digestion facility in Cannock. The food waste is converted to bio-methane gas (biogas) at Biffa’s facility, and is then used to generate electricity. The electricity for Sainsbury’s Cannock store is directly supplied to the supermarket via a newly constructed new 1.5km long electricity cable that was built in partnership by the two companies. This ground-breaking project helps to close the loop on food recycling and Sainsbury’s to continue to send zero operational waste to landfill. 06/25/2014

Vega Biofuels Will Ship 50K Tons of Torrefied Bio-Coal per Year to Europe

Vega BiofuelsUS based Vega Biofuels has announced receiving an order to ship its Bio-Coal product to European Power Companies. The Company has entered into an Agreement with Austrian based, ECEM Salzburg Energy and Environment Consulting GmbH to sell 50,000 tons of Bio-Coal each year for the next five years. The five year contract will generate approximately $57 million in revenue to Vega. Vega recently announced it has entered into a Joint Venture to build and operate a manufacturing plant in Allandale, South Carolina to produce Bio-Coal. When completed, the manufacturing plant will use torrefaction technology to produce the Company's green-energy Bio-Coal product from timber waste that will then be sold to power companies around the world. Bio-Coal has a high energy density of up to 13,000 BTUs/Lb and is considered a renewable energy fuel that meets the Renewable Portfolio Standards and Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) in the United States. 06/25/2014 

Cleanergy Launches "GasBox" Low-Btu Fuelled Stirling Engine for CHP

CleanergySwedish company Cleanergy has announced advanced testing and commercial availability of its modular Stirling-cycle engine generator set, designed to convert low-grade landfill and biogas to combined heat and power. The packaged unit can utilize "dirty" landfill gas with methane content as low as 18%; Cleanergy’s GasBox has been specifically developed to generate electricity and heat from methane gas being emitted at the 1,900+ landfill sites in Europe which are more than 10 years old. Low-Btu biogas sufficient for the GasBox is also often produced at wastewater treatment plants and on farms. Cleanergy’s GasBox is the first power technology that has been selected for evaluation by the United Kingdom's (UK) Environmental Agency under project ACUMEN, "Assessing, Capturing and Utilising Methane from Expired and Non-Operational Landfill" and has been installed at closed landfill sites in the UK and in Poland. The GasBox is already commercially deployed at several locations in Sweden (in collaboration with the Swedish Energy Agency) and at the Yggeset waste disposal park in Norway. Energy produced by the GasBox is being used to power equipment and to heat and electrify buildings; the company estimated return on investment (ROI) in as little as three to five years. 06/24/2014

CHO Morcenx Thermal Waste Conversion Plant Completes Successful Testing

CHO-PowerFrench parent company Europlasma Group has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary CHO-Power has secured a Preliminary Take-Over Certificate (TOD) for operations at its Morcenx waste and biomass gasification facility. The milestone indicates success in system endurance testing this month and resulted in receipt of the second-tranche payment of €1.1 million from the project's backers, which had been conditioned on receipt of the TOD from the company's Morcenx client. CHO-Power's technology platform for thermal conversion of municipal and agricultural wastes and residuals couples mechanical pre-treatment with gasification, followed by use of plasma for polishing the raw synthetic gas or syngas. During endurance tests, all the operating parameters initially set in the contract for the TOD were met or exceeded, except the average power output which remains below original expectations. Europlasma notes that the reasons for the low electrical output are now identified and solutions are known: the fragility of various auxiliary systems, generating frequent stoppages, and the sizing of specific equipment modules that had been built before the change of gasifier in 2013. Trading of Europlasma's stock on the French exchange has been suspended until testing has been completed and  financing stabilizes, expected by mid-July 2014. 06/24/2014  

ECUA Requests Cost Proposals for Florida Alternative Energy Facility

Emerald Coast Utilities AuthorityThe Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA) located in northeastern Florida has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a waste conversion facility to three previously pre-qualified developers. The ECUA's proposed Alternative Energy Facility project (CC2014 24 AEF RFP) calls for proposals for the design, permitting and construction, and operation of a multi-fuel fired energy plant. The proposed plant will use dewatered sewage sludge, FOG (fats, oils and greases), septage waste, and green waste as possible fuel feedstocks from its internal operations. Locally produced RDF, biomass, and other fuel feedstocks may be available; however, these are not controlled by the ECUA and proposing developers will need to independently secure contingent feedstock supply contracts. The pre-qualification phase of the selection process was completed last winter, and three successful developers have been invited to submit proposals for this stage of the solicitation: Resource Energy Development Inc of Seal Beach, California; MWH Americas of Broomfield, Colorado, and Novi Energy of Novi, Minnesota. The three shortlisted facility developers have until September 18, 2014 to submit proposals. Questions regarding the project should be directed to Amy Williamson at ECUA, (850) 969-3350 or via email at <>. ECUA anticipates issuing a Notice to Proceed to the successful developer by March 2015. 06/23/2014

PyroPure Awarded UK Smart Grant Funding for Medical Waste Solution

PyroPurePyroPure Ltd has announced receipt of an award of £165,200 in Smart grant funding from the United Kingdom's (UK) Technology Strategy Board (TSB) to advance the collection and disposal of clinical waste. The TSB’s Smart program awarded the Hampshire firm co-funding in the "Development of prototype" category for innovative projects to help develop and pilot its solution for the disposal of hypodermic syringes and other medical sharps. PyroPure® technology is widely expected to reduce the cost, environmental impact and hazards associated with traditional practices. The system uses pyrolysis, a thermochemical decomposition process using high temperatures and an absence of oxygen to destroy all non-recyclable waste. PyroPure® technology facilitates the on-site destruction of waste, which negates the need for waste to be stored on-site for any length of time, collected, and then transported long distances before being destroyed. The Smart program is always open and offers funding to single, UK-based, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to engage in research and development projects from which successful new products, processes, and services could emerge. Smart is currently accepting applications for the 2014-15 Round 2. 06/23/2014  

Due 08/15/2014: Alternative and Renewable Energy Project Proposals to PEDA   

State of PennsylvaniaGovernor Tom Corbett and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) have announced that the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority (PEDA) will offer an estimated $12.5 million in grants and loans for alternative and renewable energy projects. PEDA anticipates awarding approximately $10 million specifically for projects deploying technologies such as solar energy, wind, hydropower and biomass. Those eligible to apply include non-profit corporations; Pennsylvania schools, colleges and universities; any Pennsylvania municipality, and public or private corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, associations and other legal business entities. Potential applicants are encouraged to participate in a related webinar, scheduled for June 24 from 2-3 p.m. To register for the webinar, complete the online grant application or learn more about PEDA, visit www.dep.state.pa.us, keyword: Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority. Applications are due by 4 p.m. on August 15, 2014 and must be submitted online using the state’s eGrants system - www.grants.dcnr.state.pa.us.  06/21/2014

NIB Finances Two Swedish Waste and Biomass CHP Plants

Nordic Investment BankThe Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) has announced funding for two large scale facilities in Sweden for conversion of biomass to combined heat and power (CHP). NIB has signed a 15 year agreement totaling SEK 450 million (EUR 50 million) for a new CHP plant based on the incineration of municipal waste and biomass to be built at the Gärstadverket facility in Linköping in central Sweden. The plant will be capable of producing 500 GWh of heat (equivalent to the annual consumption of heat for 25,000 homes) and 130 GWh of electricity per year, consuming about 180,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste a year. In a second agreement, NIB has signed a 12 year maturity loan of SEK 1.4 billion with AB Fortum Värme Holding to finance a new biofuel combined heat and power plant in Stockholm, Sweden. The production capacity of the new plant will be 130 MW of electricity and 280 MW of heat. The plant will primarily use wood chips as fuel, but can use the full range of solid biomass. The new CHP plant will replace some of the company's fossil fuel-based heat production. Due to the changed fuel mix, the new biofuel-based plant has both direct and indirect environmental benefits, as the CO2 emissions will decrease. AB Fortum Värme is the leading provider of district heating, cooling and gas in the greater Stockholm area; in April of this year, the parent Fortum Corporation similarly signed biomass CHP facility agreements for a plant in Turku, Finland. 06/19/2014

 

Ford and Heinz Collaborate on Conversion of Tomato Waste to BioPlastics

The Ford Motor CompanyResearchers at The Ford Motor Company and H.J. Heinz are investigating the use of tomato fibers in developing sustainable, composite materials for use in vehicle manufacturing. For example, dried tomato skins could become the wiring brackets in a Ford vehicle or the storage bin a Ford customer uses to hold coins and other small objects. The news from Ford and Heinz follows on a recent announcement made by plastic manufacturer Biome Bioplastics about a new material development. Biome Bioplastics has released ground-breaking research that demonstrates the feasibility of creating low-cost, high-performance bioplastics using lignin derived from wood. The research, undertaken in conjunction with the University of Warwick's Centre for Biotechnology and Biorefining, reveals that lignin - a waste product of the pulp and paper industry - is a potentially abundant feedstock for the chemicals that could provide the next generation of bioplastics. 06/19/2014

 

NEOL Biosolutions Secures US Patent for MicroBiOil-1 Technology Platform

NEOL BiosolutionsSpanish companies Neuron Bio Group andRepsol's joint venture Neol Biosolutions S.A. (Neol) has announced that the US Patent Office has granted a patent for MicroBiOil-1, Neol's technology platform. This technology makes it possible to obtain oils from crude glycerine via a biotechnological process for industrial use. These oils can be converted into advanced biofuels, as well as raw material within the oleo chemical industry. Crude glycerine is a waste or by-product of biodiesel manufacture. The MicroBiOil 1® technology, which has already been demonstrated at semi-industrial scale, increases the overall performances of biodiesel plants by transforming the main by-product of these biodiesel production plants, the crude glycerine, into new oil, thus converting a waste into new raw material. MicroBiOil® is a technology platform to produce high added value microbial oils(triglycerides) able to be used for second-generation and  other oleo chemical derivatives. Via the use of specific micro-organisms, renewable feedstock or industrial by-products are metabolized as the sole carbon source to obtain an oily biomass (more than 50% oil content on dry basis).Currently Neol is at the commercialization phase of this platform promoting the sale of licenses or relevant alliances in order to co-license with an industrial partner. 06/19/2014

  

RSB Will Host Webinar on EU Market for Used Cooking Oil to Biodiesel

Roundtable on Sustainable BiomaterialsThe Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) has announced a no-cost webinar scheduled for June 25, 2014 to address the complex and expanding European Union (EU) market for purchase and conversion of used cooking oil into biodiesel. The notice observes, "As Europe is increasingly incentivizing biodiesel from waste materials, producers and collectors of Used Cooking Oil (UCO) should evaluate the benefits this expanding market offers. The RSB is holding a new and updated webinar that will educate UCO collectors, aggregators, processors, and international traders about the latest certification requirements to sell UCO into different countries within the EU." Questions may be submitted to the four expert panel members in advance through RSB's Events page. Registration for the webinar is available online. 06/18/2014  

PNNL Receives $2.2MM DOE Grant for H2 Production from Bio-Derived Liquids

Pacific Northwest National LaboratoryThe US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) will receive $2.2 million for hydrogen (H2) production from biomass-sourced liquids. Principal investigator Dr. Wei Liu and team have proposed development of piston-type conversion reactors, integrating thermal for conversion of biomass to bio-oil with internal capture and re-use of carbon dioxide. The process uses steam reforming and catalysis to convert the bio-oil to hydrogen. The Project Abstract explains that while reforming is occurring in one reactor, the other is undergoing an exothermic regeneration. In the reforming reactor, CO2 is captured as carbonates upon its formation from steam reforming reactions of bio-oil so that nearly pure H2 gas is produced in one step. The heat released from the carbonation reaction is supplied to the endothermic steam-reforming reaction. Once the CO2 sorbent is saturated and the hydrogen yield starts decreasing in the reforming reaction, reactor feed is switched to hot air for regeneration. The technology is listed in PNNL’s Available technologies as “A Compact and High Throughput Reactor of Monolithic-Structured Catalyst Bed for Conversion of Syngas to Liquid Fuels”. PNNL was one of ten projects selected for awards totaling $20 million aimed at advancing transport-related hydrogen commercialization, six for hydrogen production and four for hydrogen delivery advances. 06/17/2014

$14.5MM Farm Bill Funding Available for Two USDA Bioenergy Programs

US Department of AgricultureThe US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced up to $14.5 million in funding for two USDA bioenergy programs is available through the 2014 Farm Bill. USDA's Rural Development (RD) Repowering Assistance Program is accepting applications from companies seeking to offset the costs associated with converting fossil fuel systems to renewable biomass fuel systems. Biorefineries in existence on or before June 18, 2008 are eligible for payments to replace fossil fuels used to produce heat or power with renewable biomass. For information on how to apply, see page 34280 of the June 16 Federal Register. USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture's (NIFA) Sun Grant Program is accepting grant applications to enhance national energy security through the development of bio-based transportation fuels, biopower, and new bio-based products. The program provides grants to five grant centers and one subcenter, which then will make competitive grants to projects that contribute to research, education and outreach for the regional production and sustainability of possible biobased feedstocks. 06/17/2014  

UPM BioVerno Renewable Diesel Will Be Distributed in Finland

UPMUPM has announced signing a sales agreement with North European Oil Trade  (NEOT) for UPM BioVerno renewable diesel, produced in UPM's Lappeenranta Biorefinery. NEOT specializes in wholesale oil and biofuels and distributes to  large Finnish service stations, ABC, St1 and Shell. UPM BioVerno is made from a pulp production residue called crude tall oil. The Finnish made fuel works well in all diesel engines and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Extensive fleet tests conducted with the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland showed that UPM BioVerno diesel works in cars just as well as any regular diesel. Petri Kukkonen, Vice President, UPM Biofuels: "By using UPM BioVerno, motorists will support Finnish fuel production and help the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions." 06/16/2014

IncBio Delivers 120,000 MT/Yr Ultrasonic Biodiesel Reactor to South America

IncBioPortugal based IncBio has announced delivery of a 120,000 MT per year ultrasonic transesterification reactor for installation in an existing biodiesel plant in South America. The reactor will be used in the existing plant originally supplied by one of the largest biodiesel plant manufacturers in the world, but due to the outdated design, the plant was producing very inefficiently. The addition of IncBio’s ultrasonic reactor is expected to very significantly increase the efficiency and lower the operation costs of the plant. José Marques, IncBio’s CEO: "By updating the existing technology, our client is bringing its plant back to profitability, something with which most outdated plants are currently struggling with. Ultrasonic reactors not only speed up the conversion, by causing a reaction in seconds vs the typical hours of agitation or recirculation, but because they also require lower amounts of methanol and catalyst, ultrasonic biodiesel reactors exponentially improve the financials of existing plants." 06/16/2014

UK's Resource Association Releases Specifications for Waste Reprocessing

Resource AssociationThe Resource Association (RA) in the United Kingdom (UK) has announced release of "ReQIP: Recycling Quality Information Point", a new information project designed to provide a convenient reference point for understanding reprocessors’ recyclate quality requirements. All members of the RA contributed, documenting quality standards across the range of waste-sourced materials from the perspective of the industry's Recycling Reprocessors. Among the Quality Standards provided, municipal source-separated food wastes going into Wet Anaerobic Digestion. The RA intends to follow this release with industry guidance regarding the general impact on value of mixing certain materials with the second phase publication expected next month. Comments are welcome; contact Policy Executive Matt Preston at the Resource Association office, 01943 464778 or <>. 06/16/2014  

Transact Energy Secures First Site for Zero Emissions Waste Plant in Mexico

Transact Energy CorpTexas based Transact Energy Corp. has announced securing through its partners, the Puebla Waste Consortium, the first of two plant sites in Puebla, Mexico to construct its TransAct Zero Emissions Waste Optimization Plant ™ (Z.E.W.O.P.). The first site is located at the Chahcapa Industrial Park in the township of Chachapa on the outskirts of Puebla, Mexico. It is a Greenfield site of 3.4 Hectares (8.3 acres) located minutes from the highway and bypass system, allowing for easy access in and out of Puebla's municipal solid waste (MSW) collection areas. Transact's website states that its proprietary technologies can "process any carbonaceous waste into recyclable, fuels, and carbon black with 96% energy capture and zero emissions."  A key strategy of the Z.E.W.O.P. is to also reduce the carbon footprint of waste collection by locating the plants around the city for ease of access. The 1840 tonnes per day of Puebla MSW will be split into a west/east configuration with the first site servicing the east. Other sites are under consideration for the second plant in Puebla. Fichtner Consulting Engineers continues working through the Phase One Engineering review and has been furnished with the first site details to facilitate a layout. Rod Bartlett, CEO of TransAct Energy: "With a building footprint in hand we will proceed to any required zoning amendments and the other permits and permissions required." 06/14/2014

Largest Landfill Gas Cogeneration Plant in France is Officially Open

Clarke EnergyUnited Kingdom headquartered Clarke Energy has announced the official opening of the new Electr’od landfill gas-powered cogeneration plant in Plessis-Gassot, France, for which Clarke installed 10 of GE Distributed Power’s ecomagination qualified Jenbacher gas engines. The 17.3-megawatt (MW) facility is the country’s most powerful landfill gas-fueled power plant, and will generate renewable electricity and heat for residents and businesses. The new cogeneration plant replaces a smaller, less efficient steam turbine-boiler system, and uses the landfill’s methane-rich biogas to generate enough renewable electricity to power more than 41,000 French homes. The new Electr’od landfill plant was formally opened by Bernard Harambillet, managing director of Veolia Propreté France; François Habègre, managing director of Dalkia France; and Didier Lartigue, managing director of Clarke Energy’s French operations, which is GE’s authorized distributor of Jenbacher gas engines in France. Dalkia is a subsidiary of Veolia and French utility EDF. The facility was developed by Véolia in cooperation with Dalkia and Clarke Energy. 06/14/2014

USDA Announces BCAP Funding for Turning Biomass Residues into Energy

US Department of AgricultureThe US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that it will begin accepting applications June 16, 2014 through July 14, 2014 from energy facilities interested in receiving forest or agricultural residues to generate clean energy. The support comes through the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), which was authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. Of the total $25 million per year authorized for BCAP, the 2014 Farm Bill provides up to 50 percent ($12.5 million) each year for matching payments for the harvest and transportation of biomass residues to a qualifying energy facility. Some matching payments will support the removal of dead or diseased trees from National Forests and Bureau of Land Management public lands. This will be turned into renewable energy while reducing the risk of forest fire. Agriculture residues, such as corn cobs and stalks, also may qualify as energy-producing feedstock. Information on funding availability can be found in the Federal Register notice. For more details on applications and deadlines on BCAP, visit a local FSA county office or go online to http://www.fsa.usda.gov/bcap. 06/14/2014

Bluesphere Receives Air Permit for North Carolina Waste-to-Energy Project

Bluesphere Bluesphere has announced that Mecklenburg County has issued the company an air emissions permit for its 5.2 MW waste-to-energy project in Charlotte, North Carolina. Obtaining the air emissions permit is a requirement prior to build-out and operations at the plant. The permit signifies that the 5.2 MW waste-to-energy plant meets stringent local, regional, and national environmental emissions regulations. Bluesphere is the project owner, developer, and manager for the 5.2 MW organics-to-energy anaerobic digester. The facility will intake organic waste such as food and farm waste that would normally go into landfills. The organic waste is processed in an anaerobic digester to produce biogas, which then is turned into electricity and compost as a co-product. The facility generates revenues from intake of organic waste, as well as the sale of clean, renewable electricity and the sale of compost. The facility is scheduled to begin producing clean energy in the summer of 2015. Caterpillar, Inc has entered into an agreement to provide 100% of the debt financing required for the project. 06/13/2014

Due 08/15/2014: Proposals for Distributed Generation Capacity to SCE

Southern California EdisonInvestor-owned utility Southern California Edison (SCE) has issued its pilot Distributed Generation Solutions (“DGS”) Request for Proposals (“RFP”) and Alternative Distribution Generation Solutions (“ADGS”) Request for Information (“RFI”). In the DGS RFP, SCE is soliciting proposals from owners and operators of distributed generation facilities to provide new generating capacity within certain areas designated by SCE, combined with the ability for SCE to disconnect certain load (identified by the generator in its proposal) in the event the proposed generating facility does not perform as required under the DGS contract. In the ADGS RFI, SCE is soliciting informational proposals from owners and operators of distributed generation facilities and/or designated load customers to provide alternatives to building distribution upgrades to accommodate forecasted load growth on the system. Information including schedules, instructions, agreements can be found on SCE’s website. SCE will host a webinar on July 1, 2014, from 9:00-11:00 PPT regarding the RFP and RFI. Deadline for submission of DGS proposals is August 15, 2014. 06/13/2014 

Cirque Energy to Furnish and Operate Biomass Gasification Plant in Texas

Cirque EnergyMichigan based Cirque Energy, Inc has announced signing an agreement for the Midland Biomass Energy Station (MBES) project to install a 2.5 megawatt (MW) biomass gasification power plant in Midland, Texas. The project will be developed in conjunction with ReCom Operating Partners, a Midland urban wood waste recovery and recycling operation. Cirque Energy will install, operate, and maintain the plant, which is expected to be operational by the end of the first quarter of 2015. The MBES will sell the renewable electricity generated by the project through the deregulated Texas utility market under a multi-year power purchase agreement. Cirque Energy is working in partnership with Northrop Grumman Corporation to bring to market a Deployable Gasification Unit (DGU) that can use solid waste to provide fuel or supplement traditional fuels used to generate combined heat and power (CHP). For the MBES project, four DGUs will work in parallel to process the urban wood waste to generate clean, renewable electrical energy. The DGUs will also be able to use more difficult fuels which could include combinations of typical garbage/municipal solid waste (MSW), waste wood, dunnage, cardboard, plastics, mixed paper, food wastes, etc. 06/11/2014

Edeniq Validates Residual Cellulosic Waste to Sugar Conversion Platform

Edeniq, IncEdeniq, Inc has announced successful performance of its PATHWAY™ Pilot Validation Facility in Visalia, California at the company's headquarters. The pilot facility demonstrates how Edeniq’s patented technologies – the Cellunator™ and PATHWAY™ Platform – convert starch and break down corn kernel fiber, releasing cellulosic sugars into the fermentation process. Edeniq’s PATHWAY™ Platform produces cellulosic ethanol inside existing corn ethanol plants, increasing ethanol yield by three to six percent. Funded jointly by Flint Hills Resources Renewables, LLC, and Edeniq, the pilot facility showcases the PATHWAY™ Platform and allows ethanol producers to quantify the impact of PATHWAY™ on yield enhancement and cellulosic ethanol production at their plants. 06/11/2014

Covanta Funds Fishing for Energy's Marine Debris Education Program

Fishing for EnergyIn honor of World Oceans Day on June 8, 2014, Fishing for Energy has announced $150,000 in grant support from Covanta to support projects that increase public awareness of the threat that derelict gear (gear that is lost in the ocean) and marine debris pose to the marine environment.  With the $150,000 provided by Covanta, three projects at aquariums in the United States were awarded funding under the Fishing for Energy Fund. Margretta Morris, Covanta’s vice president for materials management: "The world’s oceans and waterways are in danger from derelict fishing gear and marine debris. Covanta and our partners have worked with ports across the country to collect dangerous gear and debris – over two million pounds since 2008. We are now proud to expand our focus and resources on education programs to raise awareness about this growing environmental problem." The Fishing for Energy Fund is administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and is a partnership with Covanta, Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program. 06/11/2014 

Greenleaf Power Secures $100 Million to Acquire Biomass Power Plants

Greenleaf PowerCalifornia based Greenleaf Power LLC has announced the closing of a $100 million growth capital facility, the proceeds of which will be used to fund acquisitions of biomass power plants. Babson Capital Management LLC is the agent for the financing institutions under the financing. Greenleaf Power is a growth company, focused on investing in and developing projects that gather biomass that would otherwise be burned openly or landfilled, and converting it to base load renewable energy. Greenleaf Power's team of clean energy professionals has proven its capability to complete acquisitions and optimize the profitability, efficiency, and output of its plants by undertaking operational improvements, fuel procurement initiatives, and revenue enhancements. The Greenleaf team has acquired five biomass facilities since its inception representing approximately 145MW, including the Tracy Biomass Power Plant. It is a portfolio company of Denham Capital, a leading energy-focused global private equity firm. EA Markets LLC and its affiliates, a corporate finance advisory and capital investment firm headquartered in New York, NY, acted as the exclusive financial advisor and placement agent to Greenleaf on the transaction. 06/10/2014

APP to Supply Gasplasma® Technology for Canadian Waste to Energy Project

Advanced Plasma PowerUnited Kingdom based Advanced Plasma Power (APP), has announced signing an agreement with Port Fuels & Materials Services, Inc to provide its advanced thermal conversion technology for a new 20MW waste to energy plant in the Port of Hamilton, Canada. The contract, valued at nearly £20 million, represents the company’s first order for a full-scale commercial facility. Ontario produces approximately 13 million tonnes of commercial and municipal waste annually. The project in the Port of Hamilton will, subject to final regulatory approval, use APP’s Gasplasma® technology to efficiently process up to 170,000 tonnes of waste annually, delivering power to the Canadian electricity grid. Construction on site will start upon completion of consents and permitting, which are now well underway. Bob Clark, COO of Port Fuels & Materials Services, Inc: "The unique combination of gasification and plasma arc technology makes APP’s Gasplasma® solution the most efficient on the market today." Clark is also COO at Leveraged Green Energy, a private equity investment fund that entered into a joint venture (JV) with APP. The JV has an exclusive license to use the Gasplasma® technology by developing waste to energy plants in Central and Eastern Europe and Canada. 06/10/2014 

Biome Research Confirms Economical Manufacture of Bioplastics from Lignin

Biiome BioplasticsUnited Kingdom based Biome Bioplastics Ltd has announced that research has demonstrated the feasibility of economically extracting organic chemicals from lignin for the manufacture of bioplastics. Lignin is a complex hydrocarbon that helps to provide structural support in plants and trees. It is also a by-product of the pulp and paper industry, and a compound that can obstruct cellulosic biorefinery processing to fuels and chemicals. A 2013 grant from the United Kingdom's Technology Strategy Board (TSB) enabled the research by Biome Bioplastics and the University of Warwick's Centre for Biotechnology and Biorefining. The project has successfully demonstrated that bacteria can be effective in the selective degradation of lignin, and that the breakdown pathway can be controlled and improved using synthetic biology. Several organic chemicals have been produced at laboratory scale in promising yields that have potential use in bioplastic manufacture. 06/09/2014

Chinese Institute Identifies One-Step Conversion of Biomass to Hydrogen

Biotechnology for BiofuelsA new paper in Biotechnology for Biofuels reports on research out of the Harbin Institute of Technology in China that provides a new microbial pathway for conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to large volumes of hydrogen. The article,  "Single-step bioconversion of lignocellulose to hydrogen using novel moderately thermophilic bacteria" by Cao G, Zhao L, Wang A, Wang Z, and Ren N,  was published on June 3rd in Biotechnology for Biofuels 2014. Most current methods for microbial decomposition of lignocellulose focus on organisms that thrive in high temperatures, or extreme thermophiles. The team studied strains of the genus Thermoanaerobacterium that rapidly and effectively convert lignocellulose to hydrogen under only moderately thermophyllic conditions in a single process step. Consolidated bioprocessing or CBP using three strains of this bacterium derived by the research provided cellulosic degradation and hydrogen production, approaching 80% conversion on pure carbohydrate substrates and similar conversion for natural substrates of corn cob, corn stover and wheat straw. According to the researchers, the bacterium is a promising candidate for lignocellulosic bioconversion processes. 06/09/2014

AGH Reviews On-Line Wood Heating Fuel Efficiency Calculators

Alliance for Green HeatThe Alliance for Green Heat (AGH) has released a review of available on-line tools for calculating the efficiency of wood heat fuelled stoves and appliances, with and without catalytic converters. The Environmental Protection Agency issued a default efficiency standard of 65% in the 1980’s, but the agency’s newly proposed performance standards raise this bar to a default of 72% and 78%, depending on the type of appliance. AGH clarifies the standards, reviews available efficiency calculators and makes recommendations: "Non-cat wood stoves tend to be bunched between 65 - 75% efficiency.  However, pellet stoves can range from 45 - 80% efficiency.  Higher efficiency ones are more likely to be the EPA certified or the European pellet stoves.  Unlike non-cat and pellet stoves, catalytic stoves are much more likely to have reliable, actual efficiency levels posted on the EPA certified stove list and that is an excellent resource to select one of the highest efficiency catalytic stoves on the market today." 06/09/2014 

WBA Report Says 14% of Global Energy Comes from Bioenergy

World Bioenergy AssociationThe World Bioenergy Association (WBA) has released WBA Global Bioenergy Statistics 2014, the first report on this subject from the organization, at the World Bioenergy 2014 conference held on June 3-5, 2014 in Jönköping, Sweden. The report covers all aspects of bioenergy: supply, conversion, and end use, as well as provide rule of thumb figures to help in assisting policy decision makers, companies, and researchers. Data are divided into geographical levels, and addresses special sectors like pyrolysis oil, torrefaction, pellets, etc. According to the report: 1) Renewables contributed 18.3% to the global energy mix with bioenergy contributing 14.1%. 2) Solid biomass supplied 89% of the total bioenergy. 3) More than 90% of bioenergy is used for heat with the rest being transport and electricity. 4) 70% of the global biofuel production comes from Americas while Europe was a leader in using biomass for heat in energy conversion plants. 5)  Asia and Africa are the leading users of biomass.  Also at the conference, the 2014 World Bioenergy Award was awarded to Jörgen Sandström from Sweden, Executive Officer, Business Development and External Relations of Addax Bioenergy. The company's Makeni project includes a sugarcane bioethanol refinery, a bagasse-residual power plant, and community-scale agricultural integration through its sugarcane plantation in Sierra Leone, on the western coast of Africa. 06/06/2014

SEER Provides H2S Reduction System for Pixley Biogas Project

Strategic Environmental & Energy ResourcesColorado-based Strategic Environmental & Energy Resources, Inc (SEER) has announced that its subsidiary MV Technologies will supply its H2SPlus™ technology for removal of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) at the Pixley Biogas anaerobic digestion facility in California. After three years of negotiations, the California Energy Commission (CEC) approved ARV-10-053 as a new grant contract with Pixley Biogas, LLC for an award of $4,672,798 for development of the Pixley Biogas project, which will be co-located with the Calgren Renewable Fuels biorefinery. Andgar Corporation will install a DVO hybrid digester system to process 36 million gallons of manure from three nearby dairies, and reclaim approximately 185 million gallons of water used to flush the stalls. The project will supply biogas to the Calgren facility, reducing the biorefinery's natural gas consumption by over 400 million Btu per day. Processed liquids will be suitable for on-farm recycling. The SEER system will provide cost-effective removal of hydrogen sulfide from the biogas. CEC notes that this project will serve as a model for adopting advanced manure handling systems to other dairy farmers. 06/06/2014

Due 07/31/2014: Applications to CalRecycle for GHG Reduction Grants

CalRecycleThe Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has released a Notice of Funds Available (NOFA) for the 2014 / 2015 grant cycle for the Recycled Fiber, Plastic, and Glass (FPG) Grant Program. $5,000,000 is available for this funding cycle. The purpose of the grant program is to lower overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by expanding existing capacity or establishing new facilities in California that use California-generated postconsumer recycled fiber (paper, textiles, carpet, or wood), plastic, or glass to manufacture products. Product is defined for this grant as a good or package in a form which requires no further processing or forming before it is offered for sale to an end-user. It does not include intermediate products, such as plastic pellets sold as feedstock to a converter for fabrication into a consumer product.. Remanufacturing facility projects proposals may include partnerships with suppliers of recycled content feedstock. Questions may be asked of the grants staff until June 25, 2014 by email to <>. Application guidelines and instructions are available on-line; applications must be submitted by 4:00pm on July 31, 2014 to CalRecycle’s Grants Management System. 06/06/2014  

Déinove and SUEZ Start Urban Organic Waste to Fuel R&D Program

DeinoveFrance based Déinove SA and SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT Group have announced entering into an agreement  to start a two year pilot waste to fuel research and development (R&D) program. The program is intended to explore the potential for developing a new industrial sector for transforming urban organic waste into ethanol through the action of Deinococcus bacteria. For the last six months, SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT has been  making various sources of waste from its operating units available to Déinove for testing. The results of this upstream research stage have confirmed that the substrates provided can be turned into ethanol by Deinococcus bacteria. Emmanuel Petiot, CEO of Déinove: "With its amazing capacity for effectively degrading all types of biomass, Deinococcus creates value from waste that is little used today. In cooperation with SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT, one of the world leaders in processing and recycling waste, we are expanding our potential markets and are contributing to the development of a real circular economy." The long-term goal of the program consists of rolling out a pre-industrial size demonstration unit at a SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT facility, which will enable the conditions for industrializing this new offshoot to be determined. In other news, Déinove has announced a three year collaboration agreement with Abengoa as the new industrial partner in the DEINOL project. Under the agreement, the companies will develop a pilot R&D program to digest and convert agricultural residues to ethanol at a competitive cost that can be implemented in full-sized factories.  06/05/2014

Enerkem Launches 1st Commercial MSW-To-Biofuels And Chemicals Facility

EnerkemCanada based Enerkem has announced the inauguration of its first full-scale waste-to-biofuels and chemicals facility in Edmonton, Alberta. The facility is the first commercial advanced biorefinery to exclusively use municipal solid waste (MSW) to produce advanced biofuels and chemicals. The start-up of the biorefinery follows a rigorous commissioning plan which is nearing completion. Biomethanol production will begin progressively during the start-up. A module converting the biomethanol into advanced ethanol will be added by the end of 2015. Enerkem’s proprietary 4-step thermochemical process converts waste into biofuels and chemicals. Mixed waste and residues are converted into a pure synthesis gas (syngas), which is suitable for the production of biofuels and chemicals using proven, well-established and commercially available catalysts. With its proprietary platform, Enerkem is able to chemically recycle the carbon molecules from non recyclable waste into a number of products. 06/05/2014 

Renewable Energy Group Completes Syntroleum Acquisition

Renewable Energy GroupRenewable Energy Group, Inc has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, REG Synthetic Fuels, LLC, has completed its acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Syntroleum Corporation, which was announced in December 2013. The assets acquired from Syntroleum include a 50% ownership interest in Dynamic Fuels, LLC, a 50/50 venture of Tyson Foods, Inc. and Syntroleum Corporation that produces next-generation renewable and synthetic fuels from animal fats and greases. The company’s Geismar, Louisiana, plant has the design capacity to produce 75 million gallons of renewable diesel, naphtha and LPG per year, of which the primary product is ASTM D975 renewable diesel, a “drop in” fuel that can replace 100% of petroleum diesel in a diesel engine without engine modification. REG has a separate pending agreement with Tyson Foods, Inc to acquire the remaining interests in Dynamic Fuels, when the Syntroleum acquisition was completed. Headquartered in Ames, Iowa, REG owns and operates nine active biorefineries in five states and distributes biodiesel through a national network of distribution terminal. 06/03/2014

High-Octane Gasoline Successfully Produced from Woody Biomass

Gas Technology InstituteThe Illinois-based non-profit Gas Technology Institute (GTI) has announced successful completion of another key stage in its highly collaborative biomass to liquid fuel pilot research and demonstration program with Haldor Topsoe. Supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) integrated biorefineries program, GTI and partners have converted wood into bio-derived gasoline by fully integrating and optimizing biomass gasification and syngas cleanup steps with a unique process to turn syngas into gasoline. The test campaigns took place at GTI’s state-of-the-art gasification campus in metro Chicago. First, a GTI-based Andritz-Carbona biomass gasifier turned wood into syngas. That syngas was cleaned of tars and other contaminants in a reforming process jointly developed by Andritz-Carbona and Haldor Topsoe. Then the GTI Morphysorb® process removed carbon dioxide and sulfur gases in an acid gas removal (AGR) pilot unit. For the last step, the Haldor Topsoe Improved Gasoline Synthesis (TIGAS™) process converted the syngas into gasoline blendstock. Other partners included forest products company UPM, who provided the wood feedstock, and Phillips 66, who assisted with design, supervised fuel testing, arranged fleet testing and provided funding. In October 2013, the team produced about 4,000 gallons of gasoline suitable for use as a gasoline blendstock. This was used for single-engine emissions testing, demonstrating that renewable gasoline would meet EPA standards in blends up to 80 percent. The final test campaign in March 2014 produced sufficient quantities for testing to prove that the gasoline can be used in existing automobile engines. Around 7,770 gallons have been sent to a blending facility in Michigan to prepare it for a fleet test at the Transportation Research Center in East Liberty, Ohio. Four pairs of vehicles will each log 75,000 miles comparing performance of the bio-based gasoline blend with conventional gasoline. Results will be available in September 2014. 06/03/2014   

Plevin’s £5m Waste Wood Recovery Plant Set to Open in South Yorkshire

PlevinUnited Kingdom (UK) based R. Plevin & Sons Ltd has announced that it is in the final stages of commissioning its £5 million waste wood recovery facility in Hazelhead, South Yorkshire, with full operations at the site expected to start in the coming weeks. Described as the UK's largest waste wood recovery centre, the 50-acre site will process up to 150,000 tonnes of waste wood each year. Plevin worked with equipment manufacturer Vecoplan AG to develop a ‘bespoke’ facility capable of processing up to eight tonnes of wood per hour. The site first began receiving waste wood 12 months ago, with the biomass production undergoing commissioning in preparation for Plevin's 25-year contract as the sole supplier of fuel for E.ON’s £120 million energy plant near Sheffield. E.ON’s 180,000 tonnes per year biomass facility is currently under construction at Sheffield, Blackburn Meadows, Scotland,  and is expected to open later this year. 06/02/2014

CEC Schedules June 17th Workshop on Grant Process for EPIC Funds

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission (CEC) has announced a workshop scheduled for the afternoon of June 17, 2014 to discuss the up-coming grant solicitation under the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program, which was adopted by the CEC in April. The workshop is intended to assist potential applicants in understanding how to find and apply for EPIC grant funding opportunities, and to serve as a forum for questions and answers relating to the general EPIC grant solicitation process. Participation in this workshop is encouraged, but not required for application to any EPIC grant solicitations. Additional workshops will be scheduled for Southern California and the Central Valley. The EPIC web page provides a description of the program with a draft schedule of upcoming funding opportunities. Comments on the EPIC process received by July 7, 2014 will be posted on the program web page. Email comments to Rachel Salazar, CEC Energy Research & Development Division at <>. 06/02/2014

Wood Waste Biofuel Could Boost Shipping Industry Sustainability

Aston UniversityAston University scientists are involved in the ReShip Project, which will use low quality wood waste, chippings, and unmerchantable wood left in forests after logging has occurred to produce new biofuels. Through the process of fast pyrolysis where material is heated in the absence of oxygen, the wood will be converted into crude pyrolysis oil. Compared to petroleum-based oil, however, crude pyrolysis oil cannot be used for direct use in diesel engines as it is too unstable. The Aston research team led by Professor Tony Bridgwater will look to stabilize freshly produced pyrolysis biofuel through mild, rapid, low temperature catalytic hydrogen treatment. Alternative sustainable fuels are urgently needed in the marine transport sector due to stringent upcoming regulations demanding reduced sulphur and carbon content in diesels and oils from January 2015. The ReShip project is being led by the Paper and Fibre Research Institute in Norway, who are partnered with Aston University and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The £321,000 project is funded by Norwegian industry partners and the Research Council of Norway and will run until 2017. 06/02/2014 


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